The Aquarium at the Boardwalk is one of the latest adventures in Branson, Missouri that focuses on fun for all. Branson’s developing entertainment complex begins with some features that visitors can expect to enjoy at the Aquarium; more than 250 different animal species, an original 5D submarine adventure to the bottom of the sea, a 24-foot high Kelp Forest climbing structure for kids, stingrays, a beautiful 16-foot view of a coral reef, two mirrored art installations that give the sense of infinite ocean life, lionfish, and more than 7,200 individual sea animals! Visitors will also meet the Aquarium’s characters Aquarius, the wise and helpful Giant Pacific Octopus, and Finn, the adventurous Golden Puffer. Not only will these animals be the first they see on the Boardwalk, Aquarius is represented in numerous ways throughout the experience.
This first phase and 21-month build was designed by PGAV Destinations, a leading master planner and designer with major attractions including theme parks, aquariums, museums, zoos, heritage sites, lodging, and branded destinations. Before stepping inside the aquarium, guests are mesmerized by the exterior of the building— Aquarius, a striking 55-foot tall reflective stainless-steel sculpture of a giant Pacific octopus. The 46,000 square-foot home for saltwater species of all kinds, collectively supports an impressive 400,000 gallons of aquatic life. This grand entrance needed a remarkable outdoor paving plan that would accentuate the sculpture and lead visitors to the main park attraction. PGAV Destinations having worked with Bomanite Licensee, Musselman & Hall Contractors, LLC previously on the St. Louis Aquarium project, called upon them again for their decorative concrete expertise.
Sam Kroesen, Musselman & Hall Project Manager worked with PGAV Destinations to help develop the best system and products to showcase the architectural specifications for the walkway and entrance to the Aquarium. Reviewing samples and coloring methods to create a realistic looking boardwalk while showcasing the entrance was the goal. The Bomanite Imprint Systems stamped concrete with custom patterns to fit the winding pathway was the material of choice.
Creating a custom unique large hexagon stamp provided dimension and an artisanal element for the field around Aquarius. Leading up to and twisting around the large mirrored octopus was a custom 8’ radiused plank board pattern, creating that beach boardwalk feel. Bomanite Imprint Systems are available in over 400 differing patterns that can resemble real wood, stone or natural textures. Custom stamped concrete patterns are endless and provide the flexibility, strength and durability that other paving materials lack.
A total of 18,000 square feet of imprinted concrete custom patterns were installed using Bomanite Autumn Brown Integral Color for the boardwalk path and a 1:1 mix of Bomanite Moccasin Integral Color and Bomanite Sand Integral Color for the Hexagon paving. Initially the clients had chosen a Color Hardener sample, with the need to cut costs and stay within budget, Kroesen was instrumental in solving the dilemma by mixing onsite Integral Colors to match the color selected. A final touch of Mirrored glass was hand broadcast into the boardwalk path to provide sparkle and complement Aquarius.
This thematic installation of Bomanite Decorative Concrete offers versatility in design, long-term durability, low-maintenance, weather-resistant features and environmentally friendly attributes earning Musselman & Hall Contractors the GOLD Award for the Best Bomanite Imprint Systems Project.